Friday, November 19, 2021

Indie Music: Noveliss & Dixon Hill "Book of Changes"

by Germar Derron

Noveliss is the answer. When hip-hop haters say that they don't relate to "gangsta" rap.  When they say that the culture is all about parties, drugs, and sex. When they say that rappers today are not "saying anything," Noveliss is the answer. Detroit, so this should not come as a surprise to anyone that pays attention.

But I'm late to the party. And proof of that is found in Noveliss's strong fanbase, YouTube videos with tens of thousands of views, and strong and long record of success in the industry. Of course, the anti-hip-hop crowd is only aware of, and passively listening to, the Top 40 hits. Noveliss proves that the genre digs much deeper than popping bottles and caps. (and just so you know, I dig the "bottles and caps" music too)

Generally, the production on Book of Changes, from Dixon Hill, feels like lo-fi hip-hop. And that's cool, because it's a sound that's now. It's definitely a vibe. And it's a vibe that could come over and stay for a while. And the tracks seem to be shorter than the standard four minute radio cut. Personally, I like music like I like British TV. Get in there, tell your story, then get tf out. Noveliss has mastered that.

On "Cold Mountain," he makes a point, but it remains fun and never gets preachy. The video for "Sincerity and Reverence" takes place in a sunroom, but also in a state of mind. I've been to "that" sunroom. I've visited that place, space, and state. Get out of my head yo!

But don't worry, it's not straight woo woo. The references and allusions include all of today's top pop culture--Star Wars, Marvel, DC, etc. And it's not fan service, or a marketing gimmick. The references don't serve as passive passing acknowledgements. He quickly and organically displays a deep knowledge of the lore and meaningfulness of canon.

If any of this sounds like you, cop this album. Thank me later.


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